It was the worst of times…
2012 was a hard year. It was a year of change. It was a year of growth. It was a year of sorrow. It was one of the worst years of my life, as it marked the first of many things without my sweet mother, who passed away at the tail-end of 2011 (that was not a good year, either). It was: my first birthday without my mom to call and sing me a song…my first family trip without my mom to plan it in her extravagant way and to make it all so much fun…my first (technically second) Christmas without my mom to play Santa and to make sure the house was decorated and full of Christmas cheer…my first of many such moments where she was just…not there.
Such a significant loss brings about one of life’s most difficult changes, and I have had a very hard time adjusting to this new life without Mom. Like the other five members of my very close-knit family, I think I have done my best to survive and adapt. The journey is not done, as I am still learning -every day- how to redefine my life without Pegasus (Mom’s nom de plume).
My confusion, sorrow, and pain led me on a bit of a soul-searching journey and, ultimately, to ten different countries in a six-month period. I’m not really sure what I was searching for or if I just wanted to escape the world I knew, which didn’t make sense to me anymore. Maybe I was looking reasons to love life and motivation to keep on trucking…(see my initial post here).
It was the best of times…
So, 2012 was a year of very extensive travel and many adventures. In fact, I covered more territory (country-wise) in 2012 than any other year in my existence, save for 1999’s Semester at Sea voyage (ten countries in 100 days).
What have I garnered from these experiences?
Indonesia– I experienced some of the best SCUBA diving on the planet, exploring the amazing under-world of the Banda Sea in Southeastern Sulawesi. I was also able to spend some time on the uniquely beautiful and cultural island of Bali.
South Africa– I shared the most fascinating road-trip of my life, driving the Garden Route, with my sister, Chandler. We tasted wine, road ostriches, hiked all day, and played with cheetahs and baby lions amid some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever encountered.
Botswana– I witnessed the raw and awesome beauty of nature in the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park (including a pack of lions hunting/killing a buffalo and the buffalo fighting to protect their own).
Zimbabwe– I met the most amazing people and learned of the mystical interconnection of all humans, starting with the very first- The Bushmen.
Zambia– I visited one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls, and bungee jumped it!
Namibia– I climbed the infamous Dune 45 and sat in awe of the marvelous Namib Desert. And I went skydiving.
Singapore– I explored one of the prettiest, cleanest, and most expensive city-countries in the world.
Cambodia– I finally made it to infamous Angkor Wat and was humbled by the sobering Killing Fields.
Laos– I discovered a new favorite spot of mine on this planet in the beautiful Laos.
The year in travel
Above all, I’ve made the most amazing new friends from all over the globe with whom I’ve shared (what was for me) significantly life-altering experiences.
I treasure my year of travel, the journey that has reminded me that life can be great again, and the wonderful people that I’ve shared these adventures with along the way.
May 2013 be less sorrowful and even more meaningful. Happy New Year.
Thanks for stopping by!